Countdown til Opening Day: #4–Ramos’ Return

In a previous post I mentioned that one of the biggest advantages to working in tv is having 2 tv’s at your desk. Another is getting updates from the wire services continuously throughout the day. This is helpful when the Nationals are playing a day game and I don’t have time to watch…at least I promptly see the final score.

Quite possibly the worst wire that’s ever come across my computer was the news that Nationals young catcher Wilson Ramos had been kidnapped in his native Venezuela. At first it seemed like some sort of awful joke, but as the details emerged it was clear that the situation was very serious. When 2 days passed without any updates on his condition, I and many others feared the worst. 

It’s often said that it’s too bad it takes a tragedy to bring a group of people together, whether that be a family, a town or even a nation. That’s exactly what happened with the kidnapping of Wilson Ramos. I went from feeling like I was 1 of about a dozen Nats fans, to seeing tweets, news stories and vigils in honor of the catcher. One vigil was held outside of Nats park on a Friday evening. I couldn’t attend because I was at work, but I watched from my desk and remember feeling sad, obviously, but proud at the same time. Though small and sometimes the butt of jokes by other teams, the Nationals’ fan base came together for a player who, prior to this incident, was relatively unknown nationally.

Unlike many other “come-together” tragedies, though, this one luckily had a happy ending.

Later that night, I was at my favorite Friday spot, Tortoise and Hare, when my brother said “they found Ramos.” I immediately pulled out my blackberry, and found emails from our Miami producer that Ramos had indeed been found, alive, and looked up to see corresponding stories on tv. I will admit that I teared up right there at the bar (as I’m doing now, writing this), and before long our entire table was toasting to Wilson Ramos.

The details of his rescue were terrifying and unimaginable. Those responsible for getting him out are to be commended for their bravery and ability to execute such a difficult mission.

But I can’t help but believe that the support being lifted from Natstown was a little responsible, too. 

When Wilson Ramos takes the field in Washington for the first time since this incident, it’s going to be an emotional moment for the stadium. I’ll be there, probably crying, and I can’t wait for that standing ovation to welcome home our catcher.

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